Simple Summer Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese

With all these new summer vegetables in season, I had to make another version of one of my favorites – “decked out” boxed macaroni and cheese! If you have been following my CSA recipes for Taproot Farm, you’ll potentially remember that earlier in the season I posted a “Green Garlic and Mixed Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese” using green garlic, Greek yogurt, petite peas, broccoli and Canadian bacon. And, if you have been following my blog “The Kitchenologist” from day one, you’ll potentially remember my “Very Veggie Mac and Cheese” using sweet potato noodles, petite green peas and super greens, all coated in a white cheddar pumpkin sauce. This recipe is easy, simple and delicious – definitely a favorite “go-to” of mine on nights when I am craving vegetables and something comforting but easy to make! I was lucky enough to have organic carrots, zucchini and dino kale from Taproot Farm on hand and a few banana peppers from my own garden at home. I hope this recipe gives you some ideas of what you can do to craft up something easy and tasty in your own kitchen – happy cooking! 🙂

“Decking Out” the Standard Boxed Macaroni and Cheese with Banana Peppers, Carrots, Zucchini and Dino Kale

Makes Around 2-4 Servings* (*Depending how hungry you are)
Recipe by © Alysha Melnyk 2018

Kitchen Tools:

Large Sauté Pan with Lid
Medium Sauce Pan with Lid
Liquid Measuring Cup
Dry Measuring Cups


1 Box Macaroni and Cheese (I use Organic Annie’s Grass Fed Shells Real Aged Cheddar Mac and Cheese)
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
3 Tablespoons Whole Milk
Olive Oil
2 Banana Peppers (*or peppers of choice), Diced
2 Medium/Large Carrots, Sliced Thinly
1 Small Zucchini, Diced
1/2 Bunch Dino Kale (Mine Equated to 10 Stalks), Destemmed and Torn into Small Pieces
Optional for Topping: Fresh Ground Black Pepper
*Feel free to get creative with this and add in your own mixture of vegetables or additional vegetables to this mix!


1. Fill medium sauce pan with water (*according to macaroni cheese box instructions) and bring to boil.
2. While the water is heating, drizzle sauté pan with olive oil and place banana pepper, carrot, zucchini and kale in pan, cooking until everything is softened/wilted.
3. While this is cooking, cook pasta shells according to box instructions. Set up strainer in sink for when shells are done cooking.
4. Once vegetable mixture is cooked, turn off heat and set aside.
5. When shells are cooked and draining in strainer, add butter to the sauce pan and melt. Once butter is melted, add in cheese packet and whole milk, mixing until evenly combined.
6. Stir in pasta shells, then mix in cooked vegetables until combined.
7. Place in serving bowl and top with ground black pepper
8. Enjoy warm! 🙂

*Leftovers keep in fridge for 4-5 days and reheat perfectly for lunches and other meals.*